NOVA ScienceNOW starts a new season with a brand new host, New York Times Tech guru who was host of NOVA Making Stuff and Hunting the Elements, David Pogue. Featuring four stories in each themed episode, the new season of NOVA ScienceNOW, tackles an array of thought-provoking topics including: “How Smart Can People Get?"- in which Pogue finds out how the anatomy of his brain measures up to Albert Einstein’s; “What are Animals Thinking?”- when the tech-savvy host races against a homing pigeon; “What Makes Us Human?”- exploring the characteristics that separate humans from other animals; and “Can Science Stop Crime?”- in which Pogue tries to outsmart computerized lie detectors.
Educational Resources Tied to Each Episode
Find out if you’re part Neanderthal, about the evolution of laughter, what language may owe to tool-making, and more.
Are Neanderthals Human? Neanderthals present a conundrum well known in biology: What exactly is a species?
Compare the Skeletons The bones of chimps, early human ancestors, and modern people reveal what it takes for us to walk upright.
Origins of Bipedalism Why do we walk on two feet? If you asked a roomful of anthropologists, you'd likely get a different answer from each person. Here, sample leading hypotheses and vote for the one you prefer. Then hear paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson's take.
Mapping the Brain Use some of the same imaging techniques neuroscientists use—from MRIs to PET scans—to see inside the human brain.
Boosting Kids' Brain Power Could a brain-stimulating technique that uses an electrical current enhance math abilities in children?
What Is Intelligence? Hear Steven Pinker, Rodney Brooks, and other experts offer their insights on what it means to be smart.
Forensics on Trial Virtual autopsies, 3-D fingerprints, and digital crime scenes are making crime-solving into a more precise science.
Art Authentication See if clever computer algorithms can distinguish a master forgery from a masterpiece.
Strands of Evidence Your hair may reveal more about you than you realize—including where you live and where you have been.
Cook's Illustrated: Sugar Because of its chemistry, sugar does a whole lot more than add sweetness.
Tour the Tongue Learn how our sense of taste works, and why we evolved the ability to detect flavors like bitter and sweet.
Bugs You Can Eat Fried dragonflies. Greasy tarantulas. Fat, juicy witchetty grubs. Find out what they taste like here.
How Smart Are Animals? Dogs, dolphins, parrots, and even octopuses (mere mollusks!) may be smarter than you think. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/how-smart-are-animals.html
Tool-Using Animals Meet some of the creative tool-users in the animal kingdom.
Elephant Musicians Do elephants make music?
Can Machines Think Like Us? A computer named Watson is the latest contestant in machine versus human battles of the "mind."
Social Robots Would you want a robotic friend who could chitchat, do chores, even take care of you? Such bots may be here soon. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/social-robots.html
Is Multitasking Bad For Us? Cognitive researchers have sobering though preliminary news—if we can focus on it.
Subjects: Science & Technology